Washington DC – UN Foundation in collaboration with African Alliance Malaria Leaders (ALMA) and the African Union, commemorated the World Malaria Day on April 28th, 2022. This event mobilized international foundation partners, African leaders, Ambassadors, and Civil Society for the success of the 7th Global Fund Replenishment Conference to be held in the United States on September 2022.
Impact Santé Afrique (ISA) and CS4ME contributed to make the event a success, notably by moderating the panel entitled “Conversation between global health and civil society leaders on the importance of a fully replenished Global Fund” led by Ms. Olivia Ngou (Executive Director of Impact Santé Afrique & Global Coordinator of CS4ME).
The panel featured brilliant discussions between Ms. July Wallace (Acting U.S. Global Malaria Coodinator), Ms. Angeli Achrekar (Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator & Special Rep. for Global Health Diplomacy), Ms. Katy Kydd Wright (Director, Global Fund Advocates Network), Ms. Cecilia Senoo (CS4ME champion, Executive Director of Hope For Future Generations) and Ms. Loyce Maturu (GFAN Advocate).
Ms. Cecilia Senoo shared her experience on the field in the fight against malaria in Ghana and the progress made with the determination of civil society actions. She said “Almost every week, we receive not less than 10 children with mothers running with convulsions to the health facility, crying to save them. It’s all malaria and today even though we still have a lot of work to do, we don’t record those children running to the health facility to look for services and I’m grateful to all of us including civil society who have put in a lot of effort and donors who have invested lot of resources in malaria, we still have lot of work to do. That is why the Global Fund is very important, US Governments, Malaria Initiative too. We have gained a lot of weight and I have seen it as a health worker. Today, in my village where I come from, in the Volta region we don’t have a lot of children dying because mothers are mobilized.”
Following the panel, Zeinabou Idé, (CS4ME Champion, and Impact Santé Afrique Advocacy Officer) shared her personal testimony before issuing a call to action to African and international leaders: “I am from Niger, a Francophone Sub-Saharan African country, and I represent the communities affected by malaria. I have had to deal with this disease several times in my life and it has cost the lives of two people who were very dear to me. T hey died from its very serious form called “neuromalaria”. YES, malaria, that familiar yet deadly malaria that should not be belittled. Statistics have shown us that 620,000 people died of it in 2020. This is why I am currently working in Cameroon with Impact Santé Afrique, an African NGO led by young women and the global platform CS4ME to contribute to the fight against malaria. Now more than ever, it is necessary, even critical, that you mobilize to secure at least the $18 billion needed for this 7th replenishment of the Global Fund to save 20 million more lives and build the resilience of our health systems. These people you will save are our parents, brothers and sisters, and children. To date, most of the Communities Health Workers are supported by external funding such as PMI, the GF and others, which puts the sustainability of our community health system at risk. It is essential, dear leaders, that African countries take more leadership in health financing by limiting external aid and dependence.”
Watch Zeinabou’s remarks here.
Finally, the two CS4ME Champions read the key points of the CS4ME Declaration to World Leaders on promoting equity and prioritizing local civil society in the implementation of malaria control interventions through the following actions.
- Move from a purely medical approach to malaria control to a multi-sectoral approach with a community focus that takes into account important factors such as the socio-economic, cultural and gender related norms, contexts, and realities of people in communities affected by malaria Identify in-country vulnerable populations and develop and involve civil society in specific interventions for these populations (refugees, internally displaced people, orphans, people living in conflict zones, people living in rural areas, pregnant women and children under five etc.)
- Implement differentiated programs to address barriers to accessing to quality malaria services and care faced by the most vulnerable populations
- Address gender inequalities in malaria control programs and policies. Recent Evidence suggests that women’s ability to access malaria prevention and treatment is frequently limited by their low socio-economic standing within their households and communities
- Recognize and work with local community expertise and reach needed to achieve malaria objectives
- Meaningfully involve local civil society organizations in implementation to ensure better community engagement and sustainability of malaria control investments
- Ensure fair remuneration for community health workers, many of whom are women who work hard to ensure communities have access to health centers Commit funds to against malaria, TB and HIV during the Global Fund 7th replenishment to reach the target of $18 billion
- Increase national health budgets in endemic countries in line with the 15% promise made in the Abuja Declaration 2001
- Increase the benefits of local medical staff, hospital and health centers who are front line fighters.
The CS4ME full statement is available here.
The World Malaria Day Fight For What Counts event concluded with a networking session.